Video> Koyaanisqatsi Sped Up 1552 Percent

International, Newsletter
Thursday, February 9, 2012
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Viewing Godfrey Reggio’s film Koyaanisqatsi, the first in a trilogy, is a right of passage, especially for architects who hold a profound interest in the relationship between the natural and built world. (If you haven’t seen it yet, stop right here and go see the original first.) Koyaanisqatsi is taken from the Hopi language and, from the film, translates to “the crazy life, life in turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living.” Here, the film has been sped up 1552% by Wyatt Hodgson in honor of the publication of A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indes in 1552. The unforgettable scenes of the beauty and variety of the natural world, destruction of the inner city, the machine-like quality of traffic on Fifth Avenue, the fall of Pruitt-Igoe, and the often-brutal realities of the modern world have been sped up to clock in at around four and a half minutes. Take a look above. [Via Lost at E Minor.]

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BREAKING: HWKN Wins 2012 PS 1 Young Architects Program

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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All images courtesy HWKN

New York-based HWKN has been selected for this year’s MoMA/PS 1 Young Architects Program. Their proposal, called “Wendy,” uses standard scaffolding to create a visually arresting object that straddles the three outdoor rooms of the PS 1 courtyard. Tensioned fabric coated in smog-eating paint provides shelter and programming areas including a stage, shower, and misters. “Their proposal is quite attractive in a number of ways. It’s very economical in terms of design,” said Pedro Gadanho, the curator of contemporary architecture at MoMA. “One object creates a variety of programmatic and ecological conditions and its scale rivals the height of the PS 1 building.” Read More

Five Approaches to Reviving Chicago’s Navy Pier

Midwest, Newsletter
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
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AECOM/BIG (all images courtesy respective firms)

Five proposals to rethink the public spaces at Navy Pier have gone on view at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The finalist teams–AECOM/BIG, Aedas/Davis Brody Bond/Martha Schwartz Partners, James Corner Field Operations, !melk/HOK/UrbanLab, and Xavier Vendrell Studio/Grimshaw Architects–use variety of approaches to revitalize the historic pier, which has long been a favored destination for tourists. Organizers hope revitalizing the pier’s public spaces will make it a world-class destination for residents as well as visitors, much like Millennium Park and the rest of the lakefront. AECOM/BIG’s proposal calls for a series of undulating ramp/bleachers that form a new landscape over much of the pier’s midsection, culminating in a new park at the tip.

View all the proposals after the jump.

Video> Take a Fly-By Tour of Renzo Piano’s New Whitney Museum

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Ever since Renzo Piano‘s design for the new Whitney Museum was unveiled back in 2008, we’ve been obsessed with just about anything we could find about the new boat of a museum perched along the High Line on Manhattan’s west side. AN alum Matt Chaban at the Observer spotted this snazzy fly-by video tracing the museum’s progress from its founding in 1931 to its move into its iconic Breuer outpost and finally to its future Meatpacking District home. If you need even more of a Renzo fix, be sure to check out his recently completed addition to the Gardner Museum in Boston and his planned Opera-House-slash-Library in Greece.

California’s Redevelopment Agencies Play the Waiting Game

Newsletter, West
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Curbed LA's image, above, of what downtown LA would look like without the CRA (Dando Guerra)

Right now California’s doomed redevelopment agencies have one hope, and its name is SB 659, a bill proposed in the California legislature to postpone dissolution of the agencies until April 15. The bill will allow the agencies to “address serious issues resulting from the recent state court’s ruling,” as bill sponsor Sen. Alex Padilla puts it. Those issues range from paying off bond debts to orchestrating layoffs to transferring assets and responsibilities to successor agencies. Without the bill, most say there will be chaos.

Read an full update to the demise of California’s redevelopment agencies here.

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Studio a+i Takes First Place for AIDS Memorial

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 30, 2012
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Brooklyn's A+I Studio's winning entry: "Infinite Forest"

Brooklyn's studio a+i winning entry: Infinite Forest.

Brooklyn’s studio a+i walked away with first place for their design, Infinite Forest, in a competition to envision an AIDS Memorial at Triangle Park in Manhattan’s West Village. The memorial is intended to sit on the site of a small garden and garage directly across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, considered by many to be ground zero of the AIDS epidemic. The announcement comes just one week after the plans for the former hospital site by Rudin Management were approved by City Planning. For the memorial, three walls would bind the park with mirrors on the interior and slate on the exterior. The mirrors would reflect a grove of white birch trees. Park entrances are at three corners of the triangle. The space between the mirror and slate walls also act as light wells and entrances for a museum intended to go beneath the park. There are no markers with names or dates for the 100,000-plus New Yorkers who died of AIDS; instead, visitors are encouraged to write on the slate walls with chalk, “creating an ever-changing mural which is refreshed with every rain.”

The Infinite Forest design team included Mateo Paiva, Lily Lim, John Thurtle, Insook Kim, and Esteban Erlich, with a rendering by Guillaume Paturel.  The competition, which received more than 475 entries, was a collaboration between the Queer History Alliance,  Architizer.com, and Architectural RecordView the plan after the jump

Go West, Solar Decathalon: DOE Selects New SoCal Venue for 2013

National, Newsletter
Thursday, January 26, 2012
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The North Lawn at the Orange County Great Park. (Courtesy Orange County Great Park)

The North Lawn at the Orange County Great Park. (Courtesy Orange County Great Park)

We’ve known since early last year that the Solar Decathlon, the biennial event showcasing the best in energy producing, student-designed houses, was no longer welcome on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. due to concerns over wear and tear on the “nation’s front yard.” The 2011 Decathlon, won by the University of Maryland, was pushed to a far corner of the Mall between the Tidal Basin and the Potomac River midway through the design process, causing outcry from student teams who were finalizing their house designs. Officials later announced that future Decathlons might leave D.C. entirely, and today, Department of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu confirmed that it will be moving about as far away from the Mall as possible—to the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Continue reading after the jump.

The New Stars of Landscape Architecture

National, Newsletter
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
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Novus International Headquarters receives 3 stars (image courtesy of ASLA)

Novus International Inc. Headquarters receives three stars. (Courtesy of ASLA)

Landscape projects now have the option to shoot for the stars. Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) has announced the first three projects to be certified by what is to-date the most comprehensive system for rating the sustainable design, construction, and maintenance of built landscapes. SITES is a collaborative effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the United States Botanic Garden designed to fulfill a critical need for sustainable guidelines in this environmentally sensitive field.

Continue reading after the jump.

AIANY Names Seven Young Firms among 2012 New Practices

East, Newsletter
Monday, January 23, 2012
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Peaks & Valleys. (Courtesy Abruzzo Bodziak)

Peaks & Valleys. (Courtesy Abruzzo Bodziak)

Seven young and creative architecture firms were named as recipients of AIANY’s New Practices New York awards for 2012. Now in its fourth iteration, the biennial award established in 2006 and sponsored by Hansgrohe “honors firms that have utilized unique and innovative strategies, both for the projects they undertake and for the practices they have established.” This year’s New Practices honorees are SLO Architecture, Holler Architecture, Abruzzo Bodziak Architects, Marc Fornes and the Very Many, Formless, The Living, and Christian Wassmann. Winners will be featured in an exhibition opening June 14 at the Center for Architecture, participation in the AIA national convention, and, of course, a free subscription to The Architect’s Newspaper (the competion’s media sponsor).

Continue reading after the jump.

Upper West Side Mom & Pops Get Boost from Planning

East, Newsletter
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)

(Montage based on photos by Ed Yourdon and Ken Fager / Flickr)

While the city has kept Walmart at bay—for now—banks and/or drugstores continue to consume two, three, and sometimes four or five consecutive storefronts in many parts of the city. The Upper West Side has been particularly hard hit because most of its side streets are residential. The neighborhood primarily relies on the north/south corridors of Broadway, Amsterdam, and Columbus for its shopping needs. After hearing citywide complaints about the problem, City Planning has begun to address the issue through the West Side Neighborhood Retail Streets Initiative.

Continue reading after the jump.

PROFILE> Skylar Tibbits

East, Newsletter
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
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Skylar Tibbits

What can NURBS do for you?

Find out on February 17, when SKYLAR TIBBITS will lead Scripted Design, a workshop focused on exploring the potentials of RhinoScript, as part of DAY 2 of the upcoming COLLABORATION conference on fabrication and facades in NYC.

A trained architect, designer, and computer scientist, Tibbits’ research currently focuses on developing self-assembly technologies for large-scale structures in our physical environments. He was recently awarded a 2011 TED Fellowship, a 2012 TED Senior Fellowship, and was named a Revolutionary Mind in SEED Magazine’s 2008 Design Issue.

Tibbits currently resides in Boston and is the founder and principal of a multidisciplinary research-based practice, SJET LLC, and an instructor for MIT’s Architecture Department. Previously, he has worked at a number of design offices including: Zaha Hadid Architects, Asymptote Architecture, SKIII Space Variations, and Point b Design. He has designed, collaborated, and built large-scale installations around the world and his work has been exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum and the Beijing Biennale. He has lectured widely, including at MoMA and SEED Media Group’s MIND08 Conference.

Scripted Design, Tibbits’ COLLABORATION workshop, will provide an introduction to Python for Rhino. Topics covered will include: Running Scripts, Syntax, Data Types, Variables, Flow Control, Tuples/Lists/Dictionaries, Points/Vectors, Functions, Paneling and Recursion. The training will concentrate on IronPython within Rhino.

The workshop has a limited number of spots; register here!

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Meet Vernon Davis, NFL Player and Interior Designer

National, Newsletter, West
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
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Vernon Davis. (Montage with images by MCD and John Martinez Pavliga / Flickr)

Vernon Davis. (Montage with images by MCD and John Martinez Pavliga / Flickr)

Vernon Davis the San Francisco 49er tight end who caught a spectacular pass in the end zone in the final seconds of Saturday’s game with New Orleans is more than just a football player. Not only is he an avid curling fan and player (he was honorary captain of the Men’s U.S. Olympic Curling team for the for the U.S. team in the 2010 Olympics) but he is also an interior designer. Davis is the co-owner of MCD or Modern Class Design along with music industry executive Antone Barnes. MCD focuses on designing interior spaces for “athletes and other clients that are suited to the client’s taste, but still affordable.” He tells his athlete clients, “You don’t have to break your bank to live well and have style,” and “this moment won’t last forever, so plan for the future.”

Check out his future plans after the jump.

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